Tyger, Tyger, burning bright

A den for thoughts and discussions on games, life, tigers and art.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Staying relevant

As the number of page views and comments seems to indicate, rambling about my past favorite games and reasons why I think they are so great isn't working so I should perhaps move along into something more topical.
I play World of Warcraft and presently it is undergoing a lot of changes. A new expansion is due out next month and in preparation for that the persistent world is being sundered. While each of the previous expansions have created world events themed towards the expansion's arrival, it is this one where the actual in-game textures and surfaces are being changed from what they were about six years ago.  This isn't just a minor update towards higher end video cards either, this is a revamp of hills and valleys, creating new ones in many places with crevasses and volcanoes and flooding and all sorts of natural disasters! I've played the game for a long time, I've been present for world events before, but this one takes the cake in the level of overhaul of all the old content that many people have been asking for over the years. With the changes to the environment comes a change of the old quests. Previous bad guys just don't cut it in the grander scheme of things, a greater threat physically looms overhead, flying around and blasting down fire upon the populace. While I was critical of the trailer from a story stand point, it does display the sort of beast players will get to experience first-hand in their leveling experience, or so I am led to believe.
There is also a set of events going on right now, before the final sundering that interrupts the daily flow of city-based traffic. In a manner similar to last expansion's, "zombie outbreak", the home cities aren't even safe from attack, as great elemental threats burst out in the middle of city streets to be combated by characters of high level. (Lower level invasions are also occurring in every zone as well so lower level players aren't left out entirely) There's even associated rewards with a successful city defense, a chance to strike back at leaders of these elemental invasions. (Again, designed for 5-man groups of the level cap of 80, these four individual bosses have a ton of health, hit hard, have some neat aspects to their fights and will test most players even those accustomed to good group dynamics)
These invasions are very interesting to me to experience, and I'd rate this world event a good 8 out of 10. I am saddened that it is primarily aimed at the end-game player base despite being there with multiple characters, as I like world events that everyone can enjoy and rage over as it shakes up their previous way of playing. Some past events, like the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj or the previously mentioned zombie outbreak, got everyone involved, high or low level. I highly anticipate the actual Sundering and gleefully await the chance to fly around the old world and survey all the dama-er, changes to each zone. I've sided with the Argent Dawn to drive off the Scourge invasion (twice!), to hold back the Burning Legion at the Dark Portal, chewed some brains with the zombie outbreak and now kick the primal forces of the elements out of my cities. Bring it on, Deathwing.

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying to weigh this one versus the last and so far it feels... well... less end-of-the-worldy to me, honestly.

    It's better in some ways. The quests dealing with the cultists give sub-80 characters something to do. The elemental boss drops are more generally useful than the anti-undead that I think I only used for the pre-Wrath Scourge Invasion.

    But it doesn't come close to the sense of despair and loss to the world that hordes of zombie players did (which, admittedly, might have been "too much" with all the dead questgivers and such).

    But it's not over yet either.